As we near one year since the beginning of the lockdowns around the world, the Architecture profession has had about a year to adjust their designs and create new advancements to provide peace of mind for those using new and old facilities.
The built environment is a critical part of pandemic solutions and preparation for the next pandemic that is inevitable to come. For example, when you look at traditional capacity it tends to be limited, and current alternative options are not going to be quick, so this may lead to some unforeseen consequences that the industry will have to adapt to as they movexpedient alternatives pose many challenges, resulting in unacceptable unintended consequences.
An area of growth that you may want to consider as an Architect or Designer is in the policymaking advisement space, as it is very important to have the brightest minds helping the government must immediately convene a task force of qualified professionals to develop acceptable and rapidly deployable solutions for housing the medical facilities necessary to combat the COVID-19 crisis—and make those solutions available globally.
Practical and rapid solutions are available based on current and emerging design and construction technologies.
Urban designers and architects must be leveraged and engaged to develop future-state solutions, so our current improvisational response is not repeated.
The purpose of this paper is to identify and posit solutions for critical issues related to the care environments being considered by policymakers as the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect more citizens of the world, and what specific considerations relate to this architecture. History instructs, and more specifically, Florence Nightingale demonstrated, that the built environment had more of an effect on wounded soldiers than their initial wounds. We argue that the built environment is a critical part of pandemic solutions and emergency preparedness.
Policymakers may believe that any enclosed space suffices—that space is space, patient rooms are patient rooms, and widgets are widgets. This is not the case. While policymakers are wired for action and solutions, many don’t have access to vital information or haven’t been properly advised. In fact, all of us are operating in a clumsy improvisational dance as we race against the calendar. Improper environments of care may create many unintended consequences.
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